Monday, April 30, 2012

The Varghulf

I'm writing this as the final hours tick down on the poll, but I don't expect the results to change much by the time it ends. Looks like Terrain still holds the lead, with the other contenders... dropping? The total votes cast has even decreased from what it was earlier in the week. Which is weird, because I see a way to change your vote, but not a way to cancel it altogether.

Earlier this week, I edited the old entries so all the text would match. Early on I was importing text from Word for some posts, and typing others directly into blogger. The result was a mess of inconsistent fonts and sizing. Now everything is uniform, larger and light grey (and hopefully easier on the eyes). Posts now have tags, and I've added a list in the sidebar to make things a little easier to find, especially when a featured model spans multiple posts, like the Varghulf.

Speaking of which:

The beast is finished, and he's already been in battle. The Terror-causing Varghulf forced a unit of Empire Greatswords to flee, and he caught and slaughtered them all. Kind of a shame, because I wanted to see how he stood up in actual combat. Oh well– Next time, Steve. Next time.

I painted this guy over the course of a few evenings, beginning with the base. The skeletons and tombstones followed the same scheme laid out in my Graveyard Bases tutorial.

The wing membranes were the most time consuming because I wanted smooth blends, and worked the color with a wet blending technique to get the desired shade. The base color is Beastial Brown, mixed with Battlefield Brown. (This went over the entire model.) Some highlights were drybrushed up with a mix of Bestial and Gun Corps Brown. 

Then, a wash of GW Brown Ink, Battlefield, and Bestial Brown, with some water and P3 Mixing Medium was applied over the wing. Before the wash dried, I pulled up some with a dry tank brush, and lightly brushed over the center of the membrane with thinned Bestial Brown, creating a blend that really softened the drybrushed highlights.

When the first wash was dry, I added a healthy amount of Armor Wash to the mix and essentially two-brush blended this into the recesses, using it to darken the membranes at the edges and closest to the Varghulf's hand. (I say "essentially" because I don't use the traditional saliva method, preferring a wet brush to soften and blend out the edges of the wash, and a dry brush to pull up the wash when it becomes too heavy.)

The skin on the fingers, arms and legs came next. This was highlighted up in layers with mixes of Beastial and Gun Corps Brown, and 'Jack Bone. The brown wash from above was used to shade the recesses and, at this stage, the fur.

When the wash was dry the fur was drybrushed with Bestial Brown and (very little) Snakebite Leather. 

The bones, claws and teeth were based with Bleached bone, washed with Brown Ink and Snakebite Leather, and then highlighted a bit with Bleached Bone and menoth White Highlight. For the finishing touch, I painted the bloody parts and eyes using Scab Red, Skorne Red, and a little Brown Ink. 

If you want to see the converted, unpainted miniature, check out the April 16th post "On Leather Wings."

'Til next time!


  1. Fantastic. The new wings make the model so much more impressive, I'm tempted to do something similar myself.

    1. I absolutely need to steal this idea. :)

  2. Those wings turned out incredible! Great job!

  3. That's incredible. How do you keep your mix pallet from drying?

  4. Thanks, Everyone! @Rob: I mixed a batch of the wash in a small condiment cup (purchased in bulk at a restaurant supply store) and keep it from drying out with a lid. (Just checked, and it's still liquid, from Thursday night!)

  5. Rob,

    Looking great like always. Quick question:

    "bloody parts and eyes using Scab Red, Skorne Red, and a little Brown Ink"

    Was this layered then washed, drybrushed then washed, some other combination of techniques? I have been trying to get a good bloody tissue/exposed muscle for my Maelok and this is right up that alley.

    1. I first painted & shaded the exposed bone.

      Then, mixed the Scab Red & GW Brown Ink and washed it in patches over the bloody spots. If it covered too much of the bone, I wiped some away with my finger.

      While the wash was still wet I dabbed a little Skorne Red (I might also use Blood Red/ Khador Red Base if I wanted it really red) in spots to brighten it up and vary the color. Since the wash was still wet the colors blend a little for a nice effect.

      After it all dries, if things have gotten too red, you can always wash a little Brown Ink in places to recapture the shading.

  6. Best varghulf I've ever seen. I love your work, I remember seeing it elsewhere, possibly in a White Dwarf back in the day? Happily subscribed.

    1. Thanks Benvolio! Some of the VC has appeared in White Dwarf, the '04/'05 Catalogue, and the General's Compendium.

  7. OMG how did I miss this Incredible man !